The Jewish Eye
No Time to Mourn: The True Story of a Jewish Partisan Fighter
No Time to Mourn
The True Story of a Jewish Partisan Fighter
by Leon Kahn
Ronsdale Press: 2004
Description of Book:
Kahn tells the little known story of the family groups of Jews and partisan fighters, composed of Russians from Siberia and Poles, who roamed the forests outside the towns in search of food and weapons during World War Two. As a partisan fighter, Kahn was given professional guerilla training and soon became an expert in blowing up German trains. The story of the partisan struggle is as engrossing as it is terrible, for Kahn describes in detail those uncertain times when one never knew who was friend, who was enemy. The final irony may well have come at the end of the war when both the Russian and the American forces, one after the other, detained Kahn for a time as an enemy alien. Eventually, however, his search for freedom was successful: the memoir ends with his immigration to Canada in 1948 and his discovery in Vancouver that "this is my home now."
About the Author
Leon Kahn was born Leibke Kaganowicz in 1925 in Eisiskes, Poland, near present-day Vilnius, Lithuania. During the Second World War he fought as a partisan in Eastern Europe against the Nazis and their collaborators. In 1948, he immigrated to Vancouver, where he rose from humble factory worker to small business entrepreneur, and ultimately became a successful real estate developer. Noted for his humility and big-heartedness, he became a pillar of the Vancouver Jewish community. He was an active philanthropist and humanitarian who shared his wealth and counsel generously, and often anonymously, with a wide spectrum of charitable causes. He devoted much time to lecturing at schools and Holocaust symposiums about his war-time experiences. He died in 2003, leaving his wife, two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.
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